Route 6 - Stop 63: II JOHN

Audio File: 
Dr. Rich McCarrell
Sunday, January 27, 2019


This is a personal letter where the author simply signs himself as “the elder” (vs. 1). There was some difference of opinion in the early church as to the identity of the elder, but the conclusion that was ultimately widely accepted was that this was authored by the apostle John. This short epistle has some very strong evidence that points to John’s authorship. We note about 8 verses of 2 John are almost identical to verses in 1 John.

As we read the other writings attributed to the apostle John, we see he was used of God to write Gospel of John/Three Letters of John/ and Revelation.

A couple of interesting thoughts concerning the apostle John. 1. He outlived all the other apostles. 2. He had a long and fruitful life. 3. The Spirit of God empowered him to pen the gospel, telling us of Christ’s coming to earth and how we can come to salvation by “believing”. Then, he tells us of the coming again of Jesus Christ. This he wrote in the Gospel of John and Revelation. Now, what do we do between “us coming to Christ” and “Christ coming for us”? This is the space in the believer’s life between his understanding of the work of Christ and the time that Christ calls us unto Himself. This time is to be lived in proper relationship to both of these momentous events. Therefore, it is this life in the Son that John writes about in his three letters.


Date:   As with 1 John, probably around AD 90.


Recipients:      “The elect lady and her children” (vs. 1). There has been much discussion on this phrase and its meaning. Some hold that this speaks of a local church and its members. Others have said this is the universal church, while others say the most “natural explanation” without reading too much into it is that John addressed this letter to an individual Christian lady. Now each viewpoint is explained with appropriate data. Such as plurality in vs. 6, 8, 10, 12 and “her sister” in v. 13 possibly being the believers in Ephesus. They speak of the church being called the bride of Christ, while others point to the Greek meaning of names to build their case for a specific lady. Now whoever “she”   is John obviously thought well of this lady and her children (v. 1). How’s this for an idea. A specific lady in whose home the local church met. Dual application to her    physical family and her spiritual family. But whatever the viewpoint is, nothing takes away from the fact that the truth presented here was intended for all believers.


Purpose:          The purpose of this letter is very similar to that of 1 John. False teachers were traveling from congregation to congregation, denying the incarnation and deity of Jesus Christ. John wrote to give this lady a good report concerning her children (v. 4) and to warn and instruct her with regard to compromising or welcoming these false teachers into her home. Again, I propose a dual application, physical family and the spiritual family meeting in her home. Obviously she was a very hospitable woman, and John was very concerned that if she welcomed these false teachers who were “naming the name of Christ” but “denying Him in reality” into her home, that they would be able to corrupt her children. The key thought John is getting across in this epistle is that of walking in truth! This is great advice for all of us who are believers and particularly as we think of guarding our homes against the invasion of untruth (v. 10). Don’t think of verse 10   just in the context of people knocking on your door, think of verse 10 in the context of the entertainment industry and meditate on its implications.


Theme:   A warning against deceivers. We must embrace truth, practice truth, protect truth.



  1. Walk in Truth (vv.1-4) – Integrity in the church.      
  2. Walk in Love (vv. 5-6) – Ethics in the church.
  3. Walk with Discernment (vv. 7-11) – Vigilance in the church.
  4. Walk in Joy (vv. 12-13) – Atmosphere in the church.


 * Notice that loving one another is different than loving deceivers. Deceivers are not just unbelievers; they are unbelievers who are out to deceive others with untruth.